Clean With Passion for Now: Episode 11
Our CEO is gaining roommates left and right, just in time to derail his attempts at wooing his messy former employee turned live-in housekeeper. If these two could just get a quiet moment together, they might be able to get back on track, but everyone else around them has their own reasons for butting in and getting in the way.
EPISODE 11: “I can’t hide it”
Seon-gyeol has not forgotten his declaration to make Oh-sol fall for him, so in the morning Oh-sol finds him on the sofa, up bright and early and ready to spend time together. He sits her down on the couch while he attempts to make pasta, but… it’s pretty clear that Seon-gyeol has never cooked before in his life.
After some weak salt bae imitation and the worst vegetable chopping efforts ever, Seon-gyeol pulls out the already-prepared plates that his cook left him in advance, ha. Oh-sol’s nerves are high as she tries to eat, and she ends up nearly choking instead. She’s got a piece of noodle on her face, and at first Seon-gyeol goes for a napkin, but at the last moment, he forgoes it and reaches up to Oh-sol’s face, barehanded.
Oh-sol takes a break from Seon-gyeol’s wooing efforts and meets Joo-yeon for lunch, super incognito. She regales Joo-yeon with the situation–which also includes Seon-gyeol swooping in to get dishes from the top shelf (I need this Seon-gyeol!) and Seon-gyeol tracing hearts on his glass doors while he cleans.
Joo-yeon wants Oh-sol to go for it, and even hands over some strong clover wine to make the effort easier, but Oh-sol reminds her of the deal struck with Seon-gyeol’s grandfather, and violating the terms means that Oh-dol won’t get any help with the criminal charges or his college applications.
Speaking of that deal, Mr. Choi meets with Secretary Kwon to ask about Oh-sol. She tells him that she’s honored to meet with him, until she realizes that he’s here to ask about Oh-sol and where Secretary Kwon drove her if it wasn’t Busan.
After his initial efforts that morning, Seon-gyeol is searching for dating tips online. He finds an article that suggests he should: 1. Be the intelligent guy who reads a lot. 2. Be the sexy guy who cooks for his girlfriend. 3. Be the sweet guy who takes care of his girlfriend. 4. Be the brave guy who comes to your girlfriend’s rescue. 5. Be the sensitive, sexy guy. (these tips are not as bad as I was afraid they’d be…)
When the doorbell rings, Seon-gyeol wonders why Oh-sol would use it when she has the door code. He’s still all smiles to see her, right until he swings the door open and finds Mr. Choi waiting for him instead.
Mr. Choi manages to barge his way into Seon-gyeol’s home and immediately notes the pair of small bunny slippers in his entryway. He teases Seon-gyeol about his quirky taste, and then rises to declare that he’s here to start working with Seon-gyeol as his psychiatrist.
And what made Mr. Choi decide to suddenly show up to help? During his meeting with Secretary Kwon, Mr. Choi learned about Oh-sol’s new living arrangements, and the reasons behind them. He asks, “If Seon-gyeol’s condition doesn’t improve, what will happen to this deal?” Secretary Kwon responds that she is certain that he will improve, which Mr. Choi promptly points out is not an actual answer to his question.
After the meeting with Mr. Choi, Secretary Kwon stops in to let Chairman Cha know that Mr. Choi plans to take Seon-gyeol on as his patient officially. The chairman is excited by this development, while Secretary Kwon wonders if Seon-gyeol will really accept it.
Back at Seon-gyeol’s, he is doing his best to refuse Mr. Choi’s offer/demand, especially when Mr. Choi suggests that he’ll be staying at Seon-gyeol’s apartment to provide the treatment. Mr. Choi settles in, grabs an apple from the fridge and demands access to the bathroom.
Oh-sol returns home just then, and Seon-gyeol tries to send her away so that he has time to get rid of Mr. Choi. But Mr. Choi’s head appears over Seon-gyeol’s shoulder, surprising Oh-sol.
Once inside, she pulls Mr. Choi aside to ask if her dad knows about her lie. While they whisper together, Seon-gyeol just watches on, trying to overhear what he can. Once Mr. Choi confirms that no one else knows, Oh-sol asks about how Mr. Choi and Seon-gyeol know each other.
Mr. Choi playfully suggests that the two men spent many a night having long phone conversations, and then refuses to clarify that their relationship is strictly professional. Seon-gyeol is so not okay with how informally Mr. Choi is talking to him now that he’s made himself at home.
Once Oh-sol understands the actual relationship between the two men though, she is grateful for Mr. Choi’s arrival. She expresses that she’s been concerned that her messiness will further hurt Seon-gyeol’s “condition,” a term Seon-gyeol doesn’t appreciate, but he can’t dispute it when Oh-sol says that she knows that he stays up late every night cleaning up after her. Mr. Choi makes their point when he lies and says that there’s a giant bug crawling on Seon-gyeol’s floor. Seon-gyeol tries so hard to not fall for the trick, but eventually curls his bunny-slippered feet up on the couch and yelps for them to get rid of it.
Seon-gyeol says that he can handle Oh-sol at his house, but no one else, and of course Mr. Choi takes advantage of that to suggest that Seon-gyeol has some untoward ideas about living together with Oh-sol. Finally beaten, Seon-gyeol relents and agrees to work through treatment with Mr. Choi. He will still not agree, however, to Mr. Choi moving in.
Meanwhile, Yeong-shik commiserates with Jae-min, who has a black eye after his parent’s discovered him in that movie he filmed, the one with the rice balls. He’s been kicked out of the house, ad Yeong-shik “apologizes” that his apartment is too small. Jae-min refuses to take the hint and just promises to be very quiet.
Yeong-shik was not kidding about his tiny studio (more like a closet), crowded with hanging underwear and wrappers. Jae-min looks around in discomfort, but he’s got nowhere else to go. Yeong-shik tells him to only use the bathroom at night, since he’s not supposed to be housing anyone else in his room.
Back at Seon-gyeol’s place, Mr. Choi is still lingering, even as Seon-gyeol begs him to leave. He fakes out that he needs to go to the bathroom, but when Oh-sol appears, he grabs her for a talk alone.
Oh-sol asks him what he’s really doing there and how he learned about her new “job,” and Mr. Choi asks her if this is the best thing to do, since she has to keep everything secret from her family. He asks if this is for Oh-dol, and Oh-sol says that she doesn’t want Oh-dol to have regrets like she does about his athletic career. When he sees that Oh-sol won’t be talked out of it, he instead says that he will stay by her side and help her.
As evening falls, Jae-min tries to sleep in Yeong-shik’s room, but the farting drives him to the edge, and he runs out of the room for some air. It’s the worst timing though, and he’s caught by the apartment manager and they’re both kicked out of the room.
They call on Dong-hyun, who takes them both in, even though he and Jae-min have been feuding. Dong-hyun tells Jae-min that he can stay as long as he needs to, and Jae-min falls asleep with a smile on his face.
In the morning, Seon-gyeol can’t find his bunny slippers, and that’s because Mr. Choi has managed to fall asleep on the couch while wearing them. Mr. Choi antagonizes him, asking to share like good friends, and Seon-gyeol can’t handle it.
He heads directly to his grandfather’s house, certain that the man is somehow behind all of this. Seon-gyeol swears that nothing will ever fix his phobia, and that his grandfather hasn’t changed a bit since he sent Seon-gyeol away to the States. And Chairman Cha responds that if he hadn’t sent Seon-gyeol away, he wouldn’t be able to live the way he’s been living, hmmm.
While Seon-gyeol’s confronting his grandfather, his mother invites Oh-sol out to ask a favor. She hands over an invitation to a book launch party for Kim Hye-won, the anchor whom Seon-gyeol rudely ditched a while ago. Oh-sol’s a big fan of the anchor, but then she realizes that Mom is asking her to convince Seon-gyeol to attend because she’s hoping that he will make up with Hye-won and date.
Mr. Choi tries to go over his plan with Oh-sol to use exposure therapy to help Seon-gyeol work through his OCD, but Oh-sol is distracted by thoughts of her meeting with Seon-gyeol’s mom. As they agree to the plan, Seon-gyeol returns home and is immediately displeased to see his books strewn across the table. Thus, the therapy begins.
Oh-sol follows Seon-gyeol to his room to deliver the book launch invitation. Seon-gyeol says that he knows that she knows this is a matchmaking scheme, and asks Oh-sol if she’s really okay with him attending. Oh-sol repeats that she has no feelings for him and leaves the invitation behind.
Oh-sol steps out for a walk and Mr. Choi accompanies her. He’s heard the whole thing about the invitation, and tells her she’s become a better liar, since he was certain that she did have feelings for Seon-gyeol.
Oh-sol says that people act in ways that is advantageous for themselves. Mr. Choi wonders how this can be advantageous for her, and she just gives him a steady look in response.
The next morning, Seon-gyeol gruffly tells Oh-sol that he’ll be coming home late because he’s attending a book event. Oh-sol does her best to appear neutral as she tells him to have a good day.
Seon-gyeol seeks out Hye-won at the very end of her book launch party. Cut to Oh-sol, who no longer hides her feelings and instead wrestles with her sadness on the couch. Back to the book launch, Seon-gyeol apologizes for ditching her suddenly during their last date.
Hye-won is quick to move on, but Seon-gyeol has come with something prepared to say. He tells Hye-won that he’s heard that she likes him, but that he can’t reciprocate, because he already has feelings for someone else. Seon-gyeol is brisk but not unkind, and even admits that he wanted to use this situation against his crush, but he just doesn’t have the heart to go through with it, awww. But while Seon-gyeol lets Hye-won down, a man tucked away in the book stacks takes photographs of the two together.
Seon-gyeol’s mom, likely the one behind that photographer, is elated to see the news articles covering Seon-gyeol’s and Hye-won’s supposed new relationship. The cleaning guys at the Clean With Passion office see the news as well, and they’re super excited for their CEO, until they see Seon-gyeol on the phone, angry and demanding that the newspaper issue a retraction of the article.
Joo-yeon has also seen the article, and immediately calls Oh-sol and curses Seon-gyeol on her behalf. She offers to take her friend out for a drink, but Oh-sol’s not interested in drinking away her sorrows though and declines.
Mr. Choi arrives and slams down the newspaper in front of Oh-sol. At first it looks like he’s pointing out the news article about Seon-gyeol’s new relationship, but instead, there’s an ad for a great deal on lobster at the local grocery store.
Cut to Mr. Choi and Oh-sol at the grocery store, sleeves pushed up and ready to rush the crowd for the lobsters. They charge into the fray, and Oh-sol grabs at a lobster, but another arm stretches over the same tail. It’s the fortune teller patient that Mr. Choi sees, and they all sit down for a snack together afterwards.
When the fortune teller hears Oh-sol’s name, she immediately knows that she’s the girl that Mr. Choi has been talking about all this time. The fortune teller mentions that Mr. Choi has felt so guilty about something that wasn’t even his fault, and Oh-sol is intrigued.
As they walk back to Seon-gyeol’s place, Oh-sol asks what the woman meant. Mr. Choi hesitates to answer, and Oh-sol teases him lightly. She tells him that it’s okay if he’s hiding something from her, since she feels she has more things to thank him for than he could have things to apologize for.
Oh-sol tells Mr. Choi that he helped console her today, just like her usual consoling yogurt drink, and Mr. Choi can’t help but take the chance offered here. He starts to ask if he could be the person to help bring her solace all the time, but with perfect timing, Seon-gyeol returns home. Irritated to return home to this intimate scene, he flashes his headlights at the two.
Once inside, Seon-gyeol struggles to handle his jealousy as Oh-sol and Mr. Choi work together to make dinner. He turns on the tv as a distraction, but the news is blaring about his supposed new relationship and he promptly turns it off. He tries to bring up the article with Oh-sol, but she quickly moves back into the kitchen to avoid the topic.
Seon-gyeol retreats to his room. He considers joining them for food, but one peek out the door at their easy-going and natural good vibes together drives him back to his room. When the food is ready, Seon-gyeol finally manages to join them at the table, but it’s clear he’s not part of the inside jokes.
Mr. Choi ducks out of the room to find a wine opener, and Seon-gyeol and Oh-sol finally have a moment alone together. Seon-gyeol brings up the news, and lets Oh-sol know that it isn’t true. Oh-sol ignores him, and insists that he should bring Hye-won by the apartment, since she’s a big fan. Before Seon-gyeol can protest further, Mr. Choi returns with the bottle opener.
After dinner, Seon-gyeol drafts a couple texts to Oh-sol in his room. He accidentally sends his last attempt to her, which reads, “you have no idea how I feel…” Just as he realizes he’s pressed send, Oh-sol pops into his room to ask where the dish detergent is. He directs her to the utility room, and also confirms that her phone is charging in her room.
Seon-gyeol creeps across the apartment to her room, but he can’t guess her phone’s passcode to delete the text. When Oh-sol finds him in her room with her phone in his hand and the incriminating text, she responds that he must have sent it to the wrong person.
But Seon-gyeol doesn’t want to play games, and he tells her that he meant to send it to her, and that he’s been working hard to get media outlets to issue a retraction since the dating news isn’t true. Oh-sol asks why he’s doing all that, and he says that he didn’t want any of it to bother Oh-sol.
Oh-sol repeats that she doesn’t have feelings for Seon-gyeol, and he responds that he doesn’t care whether she does or not. He just wants the opportunity to earnestly tell her his own feelings about her.
Meanwhile, Mr. Choi reviews articles about the old accident, Seon-gyeol’s medical records, and the chairman’s relationship to Seon-gyeol.
The next morning, Seon-gyeol finds Mr. Choi already in his work office when he arrives. Mr. Choi wants to officially start the therapy, while Seon-gyeol resists and says that he doesn’t want to cure himself. As they square off, Mr. Choi looks up at his patient and notes that Seon-gyeol seems to resemble his grandfather, and perhaps that is why the two men push each other apart.
Seon-gyeol is surprised to hear Mr. Choi refer to his grandfather in this way. They butt heads, but Mr. Choi persists that he must treat Seon-gyeol. He promises that if the treatment doesn’t work, he will finally get out of Seon-gyeol’s home. Having said his piece, Mr. Choi promises to see Seon-gyeol at his apartment after work.
Outside the office, Secretary Kwon intercepts Mr. Choi to see how things are going. Mr. Choi turns to her, and asks her whose side she’s on. He tells her that he’s not certain whether she’s a friend or foe in all of this.
Oh-sol gets out of the house during Seon-gyeol’s therapy session to hang out with the Cleaning Fairies. Back at the apartment, Mr. Choi tells Seon-gyeol that he wanted to make sure that Seon-gyeol would answer questions honestly without worrying about what Oh-sol might think.
Mr. Choi begins by commenting on Seon-gyeol’s progress with his phobia, but only as it relates to Oh-sol. Seon-gyeol counters by suggesting that Mr. Choi is here for personal reasons, and lets him know that he saw Mr. Choi confess to Oh-sol. Mr. Choi responds that, since Seon-gyeol saw the confession, he must also have seen that Oh-sol turned him down. Seon-gyeol is surprised to hear this.
At the restaurant, Oh-sol receives the all-clear text that she can come home now. The guys are reluctant to release her so soon, but she manages to decline with an assist from Dong-hyun. When she arrives home, she apologizes for smelling like meat, but Seon-gyeol tells her not to worry about it.
Mr. Choi brags about his effective therapy session, but he’s called away by an urgent call from Oh-sol’s dad. Dad says that Mr. Choi’s girlfriend has gone mad. Mr. Choi’s confused first at the mention of girlfriend, but as he hears a woman raging at the Gil household, he quickly exits, promising to explain to Oh-sol later.
Oh-sol is still very concerned that she smells like meat, while Seon-gyeol manages to remain calm and ask about her day. He wonders why she rushed home so soon, and Oh-sol says that she was worried. “About me?” Seon-gyeol asks coyly, and she stammers that she was worried about Mr. Choi and Seon-gyeol fighting and then ducks away for a shower. Seon-gyeol smiles and blushes as she darts away.
Oh-sol finds Seon-gyeol still awake in the kitchen, and they awkwardly make their way towards the fridge for some water. Seon-gyeol does his best to look casual and suave as he drinks down the bottle of water… that isn’t water at all. It’s the super strong wine that Joo-yeon gave Oh-sol.
Seon-gyeol is immediately drunk, and Oh-sol assists him to his room, where she throws them both down on the bed. She stares at Seon-gyeol, his eyes closed, and can’t help but reach out to touch his cheek as she whispers, “I’m sorry for not knowing how you felt. For pretending to not know.” At that moment, Seon-gyeol’s eyes open, and his hand reaches up for hers.
There’s no way we aren’t getting a cute date in the next episode, right? I think we deserve one by now, and Oh-sol’s going to have to struggle really hard to keep pretending that she doesn’t like Seon-gyeol at this point. I’m not sure the effort is worth it anymore, at least right now in the moment. I’m sure Chairman Cha will have us all regretting our cute moments a few episodes from now.
The thing is, this show is full of cute moments, but it seems to really struggle to get the characters into situations where they can be cute, without some nonsensical or contrived reason. Oh-sol moving in was absurd enough, but then throwing Mr. Choi in as roommate number two feels like too much. I can forgive it though, because once they’re all there, the scenes really work. They’re all cute and funny and playing off one another really well, and there are so many true emotions in here. I just wish they could get to the set up more organically.
Seon-gyeol is a smart guy to go to his grandfather to place the blame (correctly) on that man for all the recent difficulties. I’m glad that he didn’t misdirect his frustration at Oh-sol. He knows the source of his grief, he just doesn’t know the full reach of his grandfather’s influence right now.
For a guy who had to google dating tips, Seon-gyeol was really mature about his emotions for the entire hour. He tried earnestly to show Oh-sol that his feelings were real, he immediately cleared up any misunderstandings (or at least, as soon as he was given the chance to talk to her), and when things started getting out of hand, he was more concerned about Oh-sol’s feelings when the false news story broke out than he was concerned for himself.
I really enjoy that there’s been no long-lost love, no rival woman to show up and pivot Seon-gyeol’s focus. It fits better with his personality, and it’s made all his sweet moments more adorable. He’s new to the world of romance, and doing a great job of being vulnerable and honest. That’s why even when he tried to play things tough and head out to Hye-won’s book event, I knew he wouldn’t last for long.
There are bigger stakes for Seon-gyeol when it comes to working through his phobia than it appears at first. While it has negative effects on his interpersonal relationships, it also serves as an excellent barrier to his grandfather and everything that he wants for him. Continuing to struggle with cleanliness ensures that Seon-gyeol will never be bullied into taking over his grandfather’s business. He thinks he needs it to keep doing what he enjoys, but now that he finds that he wants more than just work in his life, he’s at a crossroads.
What I don’t understand is why Grandpa wanted all of this. First he wants Oh-sol as the cure, but then he wants to throw Mr. Choi in the mix? It doesn’t seem to be doing any good, other than driving an additional wedge between Oh-sol and Seon-gyeol. Though I have to admit that Seon-gyeol’s been coping pretty well with Mr. Choi’s invasion.
Mr. Choi and Oh-sol really ganged up on poor Seon-gyeol and have conquered him with sheer absurdism. He is absolutely correct in not being okay with his former psychiatrist turning up and wanting to move in, but it does look like it might be just what he needs.
It’s interesting, every scene where Seon-gyeol is forced to deal with someone else in the room, everything is so noisy. And once he finally gets moments alone with Oh-sol, it’s noticeably quieter. I feel like he takes a moment to breathe in those moments, that he needs that breath, but they’re never long enough for him to actually get to say anything he wants to.
Mr. Choi’s placement as the third wheel in this forced cohabitation wagon seems strange at first. He’s already confessed and been turned down once, and he seems determined to stay by her side as the dedicated friend. His motives seem focused on protecting Oh-sol most of the time, especially when Secretary Kwon was unable to come up with an answer when he asked what would happen if this whole ruse doesn’t succeed and Seon-gyeol isn’t cured. It’s an important question, and I’m glad someone asked it.
But while Mr. Choi seems to be reluctantly suppporting the OTP, he’s also taking every opportunity that arises for himself. I can’t blame Mr. Choi for giving a confession another try, even if he was interrupted by Seon-gyeol. The chemistry rolls off him and Oh-sol in every scene. And conversely, I can’t be angry at all at Seon-gyeol for feeling frustrated as his crush and his rival flirt in his own kitchen, especially after a long day of trying to crush a false news story. But I’m hopeful for some continued cohabitation hijinks, and think that Seon-gyeol might find a friend in Mr. Choi by the end.